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Samuel II
Samuel II, Attorney at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27011
Experience:  General practice of law with emphasis in family law.
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I have a six year old son that I share 50/50 joint physical

Customer Question

I have a six year old son that I share 50/50 joint physical custody with (he goes to school in my district) in Michigan. I just finished going through a contentious custody battle (my ex-wife had an affair with a known violent and abusive person and tried to move our son away and in with this man). We had a GAL - who ruled on my behalf across the board.
When I picked my son up from his mom's house tonight, he got in the car and became upset. He told me that the dog at his mom's house died yesterday. He went on to tell me that his mom took him to the vet and allowed him to witness the dog get euthanized (injections right in front of my son). He also told me that the vet told them that the dog could continue to live for a while(so it was not an emergency), but his mom decided to have him put to sleep. She did not consult me on whether or not our son should be allowed to witness this type of horrendous emotional situation.
Is there any legal recourse that I can pursue for having custody changed because of this? My ex-wife does not believe that I should be involved in any decision making when she has our son. She will not communicate with me or acknowledge my concerns. My goal is to protect our son from these situations.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.


I am sorry that your son had to experience this incident.

There are two types of the joint custody under Michigan law.

1 - JOINT LEGAL CUSTODY: Joint legal custody means that parents share decision-making authority as to the important decisions affecting the welfare of the child. Joint custody does not depend on the amount of time the child is with each parent AND

2 - JOINT PHYSICAL CUSTODY: Means that there will be specific times when each parent will have the child with them. However, it does not mean the parents will necessarily share decision-making authority unless the judge also has ordered joint legal custody.

If you have been awarded only Joint Physical custody then you would not have a say in the decision making. You would need to file a Modification and request that you also be awarded the joint Legal or Sole Legal custody. And you could use this incident as a basis, but it would be helpful to your case if you could show other examples.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

You can file a Modification on your own, and the clerk of the court should have the forms. If not, you would want to ask for a legal form book so you can locate the Modification pleading, draft it and file it.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if you have other questions in this regard. Keep in mind, I can only answer and provide information for what you ask. I do not know what you need to know, unless you tell me. Please rate positive as this is how I get credit for my time and information.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

in terms of the circumstances, is it a viable/legitimate reason to approach the court with?

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

I suggest it is more something you want to keep in a log and try to gather more than one incident. But that decision is yours. In my experience, it takes more than one such incident of this type.